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side close up shot of medu vada on a platter
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5 from 4 votes

Medu Vada Recipe

Medu Vada is a deep-fried vegan and gluten-free lentil fritter. Learn how to make South Indian style vada in a few simple steps.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Soaking Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Hina Gujral



  • 1 Cup skinned urad dal (dhuli urad)
  • ½ Cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 5 - 6 curry leaves
  • 1 roughly chopped green chilli
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (sabut kalimirch), roughly crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep-frying


Prepare Batter:

  • Rinse and soak the urad dal in water for 4 – 5 hours or overnight. Next day, drain the water from the urad dal and let it sit in the strainer for 5 minutes to drain the excess water. Now grind the dal in the mixer grinder.
  • To get the smooth paste you need to stir the dal a few times while grinding. Turn off the mixer, stir and then grind. Repeat the process till you get thick, smooth dal paste. Use 1 tablespoon of water at a time to grind the dal. Do not add more than 2 - 4 tablespoons of water. Transfer the dal paste to a clean, large bowl. 
  • You can whisk the dal using an electric hand blender or manually. Continuous whisking of 8 - 10 minutes is good enough to incorporate air in the dal. Add 2 – 3 tablespoons of water if the batter is too thick and then whisk. 

Season Batter:

  • Add salt, chopped green chilli, onion, ginger, curry leaves, black pepper and spices in the dal. Mix nicely.

Prepare Vada:

  • Heat oil in a wide deep frying pan.
  • To shape the vada, keep water in a small bowl next to the dal paste. Soak the fingers of both the hands in water and pinch a lemon size portion of dal paste. Hold it with your one hand fingers and flatten it using the other hand wet fingers. Make a hole in the center of the flattened vada using your finger.
  • Gently slip it on to the pan of hot oil to deep fry. For safety reasons, it is best to slide the shaped vada from the sides of the pan.
  • Deep fry the vada over medium-high heat till they turn golden brown, crisp from both sides.
  • Transfer to a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Serve Medu Vada warm with coconut chutney and sambar



  • Use only white skinless urad dal for making the vada batter. 
  • It is an essential step to soak the dal for vada at least 5 – 6 hours before grinding.
  • Use very little water while grinding the dal (by little I mean not more than 2 – 4 tablespoons). If the batter seems thick add a tablespoon of water at a time. 
  • After grinding without adding salt whisk the batter for 10 minutes or till it is light, airy, and fluffy.
  • Always wet your fingers with water before shaping the vada, or you can use banana leaf also for the purpose.
  • I prefer frying the vada at medium-high heat so that it gets perfectly cooked from the inside and crisp from the outside.
  • Store the leftover vada batter in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days. 


Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg